MS in Biology

Designed to provide students with the knowledge and research skills necessary for students to attain their professional goals in several exciting core areas of the biological sciences. Our program consists of two primary focal areas – coursework and original research. Coursework prepares students to become professional biologists by introducing them to the wide variety of skills needed to address current and future biological problems. The research emphasis will help students further enhance their skills and contribute to the body of knowledge in the field of biology while preparing for PhD programs or professional employment.

Program Objectives

Students will develop research skills by investigating unanswered questions in the field of biology, becoming familiar with the latest biological methodology relating to their topic of choice, understanding the capabilities and limitations of these various methods, and learning to communicate biological concepts effectively both verbally and in writing. Our faculty in the biology department have exciting and vibrant research programs in fields of study including animal or plant physiology, animal behavior, neurobiology, molecular and cell biology, bioinformatics, genetics, microbiology, development, and ecology.


Please visit our admissions page for information on the admissions standards and requirements for the MS in Biology.

Graduate Assistantships

PSU offers a limited number of competitively awarded Graduate Assistantships each year.

Degree Requirements

The program of study requires a minimum of 30 credits with the following framework for thesis and non-thesis options:

  • Thesis: 18-24 credits of coursework and 6-12 credits of thesis research
  • Non-Thesis: 28 credits of coursework and 2 credits of independent study

Upon completion of the program students will have the skills necessary to read and write scientific literature, ask and answer life sciences questions, and direct independent research projects. In addition, students will be prepared to progress into PhD programs or professional employment in their field of study.

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